St. Lou Fringe Review- Pollock: A Frequency Parable

“The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing their feelings rather than illustrating.” -Jackson Pollock

This is the perfect explanation of Pollock: A Frequency Parable, performed by Matthew Marcum.

Jackson Pollock is known for his art, his turbulent life, and his premature death. But today in St. Louis, he’s known for providing the amazing backdrop to the emotional and creative show featuring Matthew Marcum. In a show where abstract art meets modern beauty, Marcum takes you on a journey that leaves you mesmerized and wondering what the heck you just watched.

“This is an Avant Opera and Matthew is the Vocal Paintbrush” -Shannon Spencer

The show begins with an instrumental soundtrack set against a projected video of Jackson Pollock painting. Marcum takes the stage with a monologue comprised of Jackson Pollock quotes. The deliverance of the artist’s words entrances you as he begins improvising vocally along with the music.

The show was short, only about 25 minutes long, but it was modern art at its best. It was amazing to sit and listen to his voice. You could actually feel the emotion he conveyed. When the show ended, I was excited to attend the Talkback and I was lucky to sit down with Marcum and pick his brain a bit.

“You don’t have to pull your hair out to know what it all means” -Matthew Marcum

One of my first questions to him was what the point of the show was, in his opinion. The above quote was the perfect answer but he was happy to elaborate. For the next ten minutes, I listened intently as he explained the process and the birth of this beautiful piece of theatrical art. What began as a bio-piece on the life of such an incredible artist and his struggle with alcoholism and his untimely death turned into a piece of scale, frequency, and tone that surrounded the art.

“Let the process be the point.” -Matthew Marcum

Beginning his acting career at the age of 12, Marcum has spent his life exploring experimental art. His talent earned him a residency with The New Experimental Work Festival which helped shape the kind of artist he wanted to be. This was his last performance of Pollock: A Frequency Parable in St. Louis, he looks forward to revisiting the piece at future festivals and pop-ups. For now, he is going to move forward with some exciting projects including some workshops where he looks forward to sharing his art and vision with a new generation of talent.

“You want to flood the room with water and fill it with rubber duckies!” -Shannon Spencer

Always having his mind on the next project, he depends on his close friend and partner, Shannon Spencer, to keep him grounded and in touch with reality. While he thinks up big ideas like “how can we get a water slide in there and then light the floor on fire”, it’s Shannon that acts as both sounding board and co-conspirator.

“St. Louis gets it, it really gets it!” -Matthew Marcum

This was what Marcum had to say about the amazing Theatre Community in St. Louis. He looks forward to returning and taking in more and more of the city. It was truly a pleasure and an honor to sit down with Matthew and Shannon. The show and the conversation that followed will forever leave an impact on me, not just as an artist, but as a human being. Please take a moment and follow Matthew’s fan page and we will wait (not so patiently) for his return to the Lou!

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